Open everyday of the year (that’s right, including holidays!), The Charleston City Market is one of our favorite ways to get a dose of Charleston history and culture. Lined with vendors, selling everything from handcrafted sweet grass baskets to plates of Charleston BBQ, and local works of art to Charleston-made jewelry, The Charleston City Market is the ideal place to purchase gifts, home décor, and beautiful accessories, as well as grab a bite of Lowcountry delights!
Specifically, the Market area is four blocks in length, spanning from East Bay Street to Meeting Street.
As for how The Charleston City Market came to be, it’s beginnings date back to the early 1800s when Charles Cotesworth Pinckney declared that a market area be built to house vendors selling meat, vegetables, and fish. And back then, the vendors rented space for a mere $1 – $2 per day! That would be some seriously affordable real estate nowadays . . .
Since the 1800s, Charleston has seen a handful of natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes, as well as fires, which all affected the Market structures. After a fire destroyed the Masonic Hall (located at the corner of Market and Meeting Streets), a new Market Hall was built by Edward Brickwell White, who actually used a copy of the Temple of the Wingless Victory in Athens, Greece.
Because the Charleston Market is one of the country’s oldest and most culturally enriched markets, the American History Museum in Washington D.C. actually has an exhibit dedicated to The Charleston City Market, titled “Life in Coastal South Carolina c. 1840.”
Below are some pictures we took from a recent stroll through The Charleston City Market: